Country and Midwestern: Part 3: Celebrating the Songs of Michael P. Smith
Since he emerged from Chicago’s singer-songwriter scene in the 1970s, alongside John Prine and Steve Goodman, Michael is cherished for the poetic language and wit in his songs that have been covered by David Allan Coe, Suzy Bogguss, Steve Goodman, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Koloc, and many others over half a century.
He was also active in Chicago theater having scored Steppenwolf Theatre’s Tony award-winning production of Frank Galati’s “The Grapes of Wrath” and collaborations with Blair Thomas and Victory Gardens, among others. Michael was a beloved teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music. He died of colon cancer in 2020 at age 78.
This show will feature a mix of contemporaries of Michael and many others on Chicago’s current singer-songwriter scene Also on the bill is a conversation about Michael and videos of him performing not that long ago. Join us to celebrate one of the greatest songwriters Chicago has ever produced.
Country and Midwestern is series of events culminating in the centennial of the WLS National Barn Dance and inspired by Mark Guarino’s Country and Midwestern: Chicago in the History of Country Music and the Folk Revival (University of Chicago Press, 2023).